Now more than ever, women all over the world are being recognized for their presence in society. This year, @finishlinewomen is celebrating International Women’s Day all week long. We’re going to bring you a new story every day from 3/4 to 3/10 and each one will highlight what #girlpower is all about.
Written by: Maria Mora
The sneaker industry continues to be male-dominated, despite it being driven by innovation. Though the current state is a boy’s club, it is the powerful women behind some of your favorite designs that disrupt everything.
A legend in her own right, Tiffany Beers has designed some of the most groundbreaking silhouettes throughout her career, including Kanye West’s first shoe. Beers has clearly set the bar high in the sneaker world and has since taken her talents over to Tesla, where she continues to live out her passion for technology.
Her unstoppable nature and inspiring work ethic are enough to persuade anyone to follow their dreams. In honor of International Women’s Day, we took the opportunity to learn more about Tiffany Beers and how she was able to break into the industry.
Read the full interview below.
1. Coming from a background of plastics engineering, what was it that drew you into the world of footwear? Were you always passionate about sneakers?
I have always loved sneakers. I played sports all the time as a kid so I learned early the impact of footwear on performance. I remember having certain pairs of shoes that I simply just performed better in and felt better in. When I picked my major, I had no idea that it could lead to a job working on sneakers. I didn’t even realize that sneakers were mostly made of plastics at the time.
2. You’ve made a significant mark in the sneaker industry throughout your career. From your lens, can you tell us how the woman’s impact changed the industry over the years?
I think women have added a level of diversity to the sneaker industry, but I think the biggest impact is yet to come. I think the industry is still growing and evolving and women will play a key role in the future of the industry
3. What do you look for when buying sneakers?
I change it up all the time. When I select my sneakers, I first look for comfort then style based on what I’m going to be doing in them.
4. Who are some of your mentors and what is the best advice you’ve received throughout your career?
I think there is tons to learn from everyone you interact with but I do have a few people that I would consider mentors. I think it is important to have variety in who you pick to mentor you. I have mentors ranging from designers, executives, peers and even a few that are just out of college. I don’t think mentors necessarily have to be older than you to have good advice or perspective.
Some of the best advice I have received over the years
-“Listen to your gut, your instincts are always right” – I can’t remember who told me this, I’m sure it was many people… I just wish I would have listened to this one more.
-“Risk your job don’t risk the company.” – Phil Knight. I think this applies widely to so many things in life.
-“Sink or swim” Tinker Hatfield – I hear this one in my head over and over as I try new and harder things.
5. What advice would you give to young women who are inspired to follow your path?
I would say if you are going to follow my path, know that my path was trying new things, having new experiences, not being afraid, failing and trying again and following my gut. I don’t think you need to go to the same school as me or have the same job as me or anything else, just fail fast and trust your gut and I am sure you will exceed anything I ever did.
6. What does the #WeAreMore movement mean to you?
The #wearemore movement is super special to me. I love the message it sends and how inclusive it is. To me its about energy, we are all about the energy we give day after day. Sometimes thats a smile, sometimes a kind word, sometimes taking a courageous risk and sometimes its just knowing #wearemore. I look forward to seeing it evolve and continue to inspire.
Keep up with @finishlinewomen this week and make sure you’re checking back with us on more things #InternationalWomensDay!